Many adults and children enjoy the benefits of working with a personal trainer to improve their fitness or skills. In fact, there are almost 375,000 personal trainers working today and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that number to grow at an above average rate of 15 percent through 2029. If you’re injured at a training session, you may be left wondering if you can sue a personal trainer.
Suing a personal trainer or a gym after an injury is usually accomplished through a personal injury claim. In a claim, the injured party seeks compensation from another party for injuries caused by that party’s negligence. It may be possible to file a claim against the trainer, the trainer’s employer or facility in which the training took place.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is a common basis for a lawsuit due to an accidental injury or illness. In legal terms, negligence means that someone failed to use reasonable care under the circumstances. An injury alone is not usually reason enough to prove negligence, you must show that the trainer or fitness facility management acted or failed to act in a manner to ensure the safety of others in their purview. For example, an inexperienced fitness instructor who has only received online certification in personal training may not actually have enough skills or training to safely perform their duties.
Examples of Personal Trainer Negligence
In the example of the inexperienced, improperly trained personal trainer, their lack of understanding of fitness form and techniques can lead to scenarios that can cause injury, such as:
- Instructing you to lift too much weight,
- Failing to spot you when lifting weights,
- Failing to correct fitness form,
- Ignoring your complaints of pain and causing long-term harm, or
- Not understanding a prior injury or condition which puts you in a harmful position that leads to an injury
Do You Have a Negligence Claim?
Typically, when someone joins a gym or hires a personal trainer, they are required to sign a waiver. The waiver usually states that you won’t hold the personal trainer liable for injuries that result from the sessions. While a waiver may be enforceable if it was properly drafted and signed, that’s not always the case. And, a waiver is not enforceable if there is intentional misconduct or gross negligence. Because of the complexity around waivers and how much they would hold up in a legal argument, it’s important to have an attorney review your case.
Many of these trainers work in health clubs, fitness or recreation centers, gyms, country clubs, hospitals, group fitness studies, resorts and at clients’ homes. In the case of a personal trainer who works for a gym or studio, the business ownership itself has a legal duty to operate the space safely, hire and train personnel, and keep their equipment in good, working order. If a business fails in their duty, you may have a claim against the business and be able to hold that entity responsible for compensation for your injuries.
Potential Compensation for Your Injuries
In a personal injury lawsuit against a personal trainer or gym, the court or settlement may award two different types of damages to cover your losses. First, there are economic damages such as medical expenses and lost income if you were unable to work due to the injury. In cases of serious injury, a lawsuit may seek compensation for non-economic damages related to pain and suffering. These are more subjective and are available to compensate you for discomfort and loss of the ability to enjoy life.
Brandon J. Broderick Can Help You Recover Compensation
If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a session with a personal trainer or at gym or fitness studio, contact us today for a free consultation. The expert personal injury lawyers at Brandon J. Broderick are committed to client care and passionately fighting for the justice you deserve. One of our trusted team members will listen to your story, learn about your case, and can advise you on the next steps. Many of our clients feel a sense of relief once they make that first phone call.